Qatar Airways Acquires Boeing 737 MAX 8s Initially Ordered by Russia’s S7

Qatar Airways MAX 8

Qatar Airways is preparing to deploy the Boeing 737 MAX 8 for its short-haul operations. The airline is set to receive at least nine MAX 8s initially ordered by Russia’s S7 airline, now rendered undeliverable due to sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

S7’s Boeing 737 MAX 8s: A Change of Destination

Qatar
Image by Keith Miller

Data from Planespotters.net reveals that nine Boeing 737 MAX 8s, initially ordered by S7, are now slated for Qatar Airways. The aircraft, which have been re-registered with Qatari registrations, include:

  • A7-BSA (ex VP-BXE)
  • A7-BSB (ex VP-BXI)
  • A7-BSC (ex VP-BXJ)
  • A7-BSD (ex VP-BXK)
  • A7-BSE (ex registration unknown)
  • A7-BSF (ex VP-BXF)
  • A7-BSG (ex VP-BXM)
  • A7-BSH (ex VP-BXG)
  • A7-BSI (ex VP-BXH)

These planes were part of a 2012 order placed by Air Lease Corporation. S7 took delivery of its first 737 MAX in 2018, but the 737 MAX crisis and the pandemic halted deliveries and operations of 737 MAX aircraft in Russia.

Russian authorities lagged behind in re-certifying the 737 MAX, even after major global regulators had given their approval. In early February 2022, the Russian News Agency TASS reported that MAX recertification was “in progress.” However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting sanctions thwarted any hope of the aircraft returning to Russian skies.

Qatar Airways and the Boeing 737 MAX: A Tangled Affair

Qatar
Source: Business Insider

Qatar Airways’ relationship with the Boeing 737 MAX has been anything but straightforward. The airline initially ordered the aircraft for Air Italy, a carrier in which it held a 49% stake. After Air Italy ceased operations, Qatar Airways declared that the 737 MAX jets would not join its Doha-based fleet.

During the legal battle with Airbus and the cancellation of its A321neo order, Qatar Airways turned to Boeing for its fleet modernization needs. The airline placed a significant order for 737 MAX 10s and unveiled itself as the launch customer for the 777X freighter. Although Qatar Airways resolved its dispute with Airbus and reinstated all orders, it continued to honor its commitments with Boeing.

As per ch-aviation.com, Qatar Airways is still expecting 25 737 MAX 10s from Boeing, along with its original A321neo order from Airbus. It is conceivable that the airline has since adjusted its agreement with Boeing, exchanging some 737 MAX 10s for orphaned MAX 8s. These MAX 8s could serve as a suitable replacement for Qatar Airways’ aging A320-200 fleet. The airline has announced plans to deploy the Boeing jet on short-haul routes.

Qatar Airways now joins Turkish Airlines in acquiring 737 MAX jets that were originally intended for Russia’s S7.

What are your thoughts on Qatar Airways’ decision to adopt these Boeing 737 MAX 8s? Share your opinions in the comments below!

Sources


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